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Given the way this season has gone, it’s hard to believe that we are going into tonight’s game against Wolves on the back of a three game unbeaten run with 2-2 draws at West Ham and Chelsea sandwiching the 2-1 home win against Brentford.

Prior to this little run, we’d failed to even hit two without defeat all season but the five points won from those games has taken us within four points of Luton and, with a little bit of help from the points deduction, Nottingham Forest too.

It’s enough to give supporters some hope and a win tonight with bad results for the other two would put us firmly back into a relegation battle we have thought for so long would be something going on above us.

We still have just eighteen points and that’s a massive twelve points less than in any season where we have survived in the Premier League but who knows in this a season of points penalties for breaking the profit and sustainability rules. Without those deductions for Everton and Forest, I doubt there would be much optimism at all but that, and these recent results, have given us a chance.

Manager Vincent Kompany will be able to take his place on the touchline he confirmed yesterday despite his red card at Chelsea, and looking forward to the game, he said: “We haven’t experienced easy games but there’s also been very few games where we’ve not been in it, whether it was a top team or not.

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“For us it’s getting the momentum on the day, continuing our momentum and I just hope that Turf Moor will be ready for us. All we’re doing now is focusing on bringing that energy for that game. There’s still a story to be written by this team so for me it’s the next game and the game after that.”

Kompany will be able to add one name to his squad while losing another. Ridiculously, he will be without the services of Lorenz Assignon for no reason other than the total incompetence of referee Darren England who sent off the right-back at Chelsea for defending well.

At the other end of the pitch he will have David Datro Fofana available again. Unable to play against his parent club last Saturday, it is really good news that we can welcome back a player who has netted four goals for us since arriving on loan from Chelsea.

We will still be without a number of players. Ameen Al-Dakhil we’ve not seen since he scored right at the end of the 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on the final day of January. He is likely to miss out again.

Also out are four players who are continuing their rehabilitation from long term injuries, they being Jordan Beyer (unknown), Luca Koleosho (knee), Aaron Ramsey (ACL) and Nathan Redmond (hamstring).

The most likely change at the back in Assignon’s absence will see Charlie Taylor return at left-back with Vitinho switching across to the right.

The team at Chelsea was: Arijanet Muric, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Vitinho, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Zeki Amdouni, Wilson Odobert, Lyle Foster. Subs: James Trafford, Hjalmar Ekdal, Charlie Taylor, Jack Cork, Josh Brownhill, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Manuel Benson, Mike Trésor, Jay Rodriguez.

Wolves are currently in tenth place in the Premier League having won 41 points from their 29 games and that’s equalled last season’s final total which gave them a thirteenth place finish. It’s potentially been a better season than they might have expected following the departures of a number of players including Matheus Nunes, Raúl Jiménez and former Burnley defender Nathan Collins. It did allow them to bring in some new players and that included Matheus Cunha (pictured below) who signed for a big fee from Atlético Madrid. Added to that, new manager Gary O’Neil was appointed just days before the season kicked off.

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They arrive at Burnley having won five away games, those coming at Everton, Bournemouth, Brentford, Chelsea and Spurs. Their goalscoring has been dominated by two players with Hwang Hee-chan having scored ten and Cunha nine.

They, like us, have had injury concerns but their news today is brighter with Cunha set to feature for the first time in two months and Craig Dawson, often a target for Burnley, in with a chance of playing. They will continue to be without Hwang, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde and Pedro Neto.

They were beaten 2-0 at Aston Villa last Saturday and their team was: José Sá, Santiago Bueno, Max Kilman, Toti Gomes, Nélson Semedo, João Gomes, Tommy Doyle, Rayan Aït-Nouri, Pablo Sarabia, Mario Lemina, Leon Chiwome. Subs: Dan Bentley, Matt Doherty, Boubacar Traoré, Noha Lemina, Hugo Bueno, Fletcher Holman, Ty Barnett, Tawanda Chirewa, Nathan Fraser.

 

LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE

 

Sean Dyche had gone and hopes had been raised with a draw at West Ham and a 2-0 home win against Southampton with Burnley close to moving out of the Premier League’s bottom three.

In a fairly even first half, Wolves probably just had the edge although 0-0 was a fair reflection against a team with a very good defensive record.

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Early in the second half, Matěj Vydra had a goal correctly ruled out for offside and then Nick Pope kept us level with a good save. Just past the hour, Pope made an easy save and rolled the ball out to Charlie Taylor and he slipped it inside for Josh Brownhill. He excellently dummied Leander Dendoncker before feeding Dwight McNeil. He got down the right and played a one-two with Connor Roberts before finding Wout Weghorst. Although Weghorst’s pass was behind Vydra, the Czech striker did well to slide the ball into the bottom corner.

It had given us the lead, it was his final goal for Burnley and won us the three points to move us ahead of Everton into seventeenth place.

The teams were;

Burnley: Nick Pope, Connor Roberts, Nathan Collins, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Dwight McNeil; (Kevin Long 85), Josh Brownhill, Jack Cork, Jay Rodriguez (Ashley Barnes 64), Wout Weghorst, Matěj Vydra (Aaron Lennon 78). Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Matt Lowton, Phil Bardsley, Bobby Thomas, Dale Stephens, Dara Costelloe.

Wolves: José Sá, Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Romain Saïss (Machado Trincão 79), Nélson Semedo, Leander Dendoncker, João Moutinho, Jonny Otto, Raúl Jiménez, Hwang Hee-chan, Fábio Silva (Pedro Neto 67). Subs not used: John Ruddy, Rayan Aït-Nouri, Fernando Marçal, Tomás Oliveira, Toti Gomes, Luke Cundle.

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